Kim calls for N. Korea to build economy

Jan. 1, 2013 at 9:55 AM   |   Comments

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for building his country's economic might and resolving tensions with South Korea Tuesday during his New Year's address.

Kim's message, broadcast by the country's Central TV and Korean Central Broadcasting Station, was the first spoken New Year's message by a North Korean leader in 19 years since North Korean founder and Kim's grandfather Kim Il Sung delivered one in 1994, Yonhap reported.

"All the Korean compatriots in the North, South and abroad should launch a dynamic struggle to carry out to the letter" of the June 5 Joint Declaration in 2000 and the Oct. 4 Declaration in 2007, inter-Korean declarations signed during South Korea's two liberal administrations, Kim said.

Kim called the declarations "great reunification programs common to the nation in the new century and milestones for peace and prosperity," a transcript of his remarks provided by Korea Central News Agency indicated.

Kim also urged the Koreas to prioritize "the great national cause of reunifying," saying by honoring the ideals of independence, peace and friendship, the two countries will in the future "strive to develop relations of friendship and cooperation with the countries that are friendly to our country."

He also said North Korea's most important priority was to "build an economic giant," and called for an increase in production, particularly in agriculture and light industry, Yonhap reported.

"Agriculture and light industry remain the major fronts for economic construction this year," Kim said. "All economic undertakings for this year should be geared to effecting a radical increase in production, and stabilizing and improving the people's living standards."

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